(Santa Fe) – As wildfires continue throughout the state, the New Mexico Department of Health’s (DOH) hotline continues to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and a wildfire resource page has been established on their website. The hotline can be reached 1-877-304-4161 for individuals with health-related questions regarding smoke to reach either a nurse or epidemiologist, and the webpage is accessible through the DOH homepage at www.nmhealth.org or directly by visiting http://nmhealth.org/CommunicationsOffice/WildfireSeason.shtml.
The hotline can be reached 1-877-304-4161 for individuals with health-related questions
“The Department maintains its commitment to providing resources for New Mexicans with smoke-related health concerns throughout this wildfire season,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Catherine Torres. “I encourage people to utilize our online resources and to call our hotline with any additional questions or concerns.”
Individuals living in areas affected by wildfires and smoke should adhere to the following DOH recommendations:
- Also be sure you have the medicines needed for your chronic heart or lung problems.with heart or lung disease, such as congestive heart failure, angina, COPD, emphysema, or asthma, need to be aware that they may be at higher risk for experiencing health problems than healthy people. If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to excess smoke exposure, including repeated coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, heart palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your health care provider
- In areas of the state with poor visibility of three to five miles, people with heart or lung disease, the elderly, children, and pregnant women should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion and stay indoors as much as possible.
- People should avoid using swamp coolers when the smoke levels are higher than normal. Most swamp coolers have filter pore sizes that are much too large to filter out particles from smoke. The Department of Health also recommends motorists use re-circulated air while using air-conditioning during smoke events. When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns, such as candles, fireplaces, or gas stoves. Do not vacuum because vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home.